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Webb Simpson (28/1) claimed his seventh-career PGA title and his second win of 2020 at the RBC Heritage this past week. After he missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Simpson shot rounds of 65-65-68-64 to edge out Abraham Ancer by a stroke.
There was a slight scare on Friday of the tournament, however. Nick Watney tested positive for the coronavirus prior to teeing off for his second round. Many people were in close contact with Watney on Thursday and Friday, but thankfully, they all tested negative, and the tournament went on. The PGA Tour will continue to encourage its players to remain vigilant and socially distance to the best of their abilities.
The PGA Tour now heads to Cromwell, Connecticut for the Travelers Championship. Played annually at TPC River Highlands, golfers will once again see one of the shorter courses on the Tour. Justin Thomas (+1100), Rory McIlroy (+1200), and Bryson DeChambeau (+1400) headline the field of over 156 players. Once again, golf fans will be treated to another very strong field. A whopping 33 of the top 40 golfers tee it up this weekend.
Here are the past five winners at the tournament:
- 2019 Chez Reavie (-17)
- 2018 Bubba Watson (-17)
- 2017 Jordan Spieth (-12)
- 2016 Russel Knox (-14)
- 2015 Bubba Watson (-16)
The Travelers Championship is played at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Another course designed by Pete Dye, TPC River Highlands is the second-shortest golf course in the PGA Tour circuit. Measuring at just 6,841 yards, golfers will once again see plenty of birdie opportunities on plenty of short Par 4s. With only two Par 5s on the scorecard, most of the scoring will come on the nine Par 4s that measure under 450 yards. As with any Pete Dye Design, it’s crucial to shoot deliberately and plot your way around each hole.
- Par-4 Scoring
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Performance on Poa Annua Greens
- Performance on Pete Dye Designs
Brooks Koepka (+2200)
Brooks Koepka withdrew from the Travelers Championship after his caddie, Ricky Elliott, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Koepka’s seventh-place finish at the RBC Heritage gave us a glimpse of just how good he can be at his peak. While his approach game still seemed a bit off at times, Koepka led the entire field in strokes gained: off-the-tee. He finished the tournament with a six-under-par round of 65 that included a near hole in one on a short Par 4. Koepka now heads to an event that he’s quite fond of. He has made the cut the last three times out at the Travelers, and he has finishes of ninth and 19th to his name. TPC River Highlands has plenty of short Par 4s that Koepka should be able to use to rack up birdies. He was first in Par 4 scoring last year on Tour, and he just needs to fine-tune those irons a bit before he returns to the winner’s circle.
Abraham Ancer (+3300)
Ancer came oh so close to his first career PGA win at the RBC Heritage last week. He led the entire field on strokes gained: approach, driving accuracy, proximity to hole, putts per GIR, only to lose by one stroke to a red-hot Webb Simpson. Ancer will still be hungry this week at the Travelers. TPC River Highlands is another short, Pete Dye-designed course that he should be able to attack once again.
In Ancer’s last appearance here in 2019, he finished eighth. He finished at 10-under for the week and gained strokes in every important metric. This time around, Ancer comes in as hot as he’s ever been. In his last eight rounds on Tour, he has low rounds of 64-65-65-66-69. It has helped him climb to number 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and he is more than ready to win.
Best Top-5 Bets
Bubba Watson (+700)
Watson loves TPC River Highlands. It’s the perfect shot-shaping course that allows him to be creative off the tee and move his golf ball in all kinds of direction. He has two wins at this event in the last five years. Watson has also been playing some great golf in 2020. He already has three top-10s to his name this year and is coming off of a 65 at the RBC Heritage on Sunday.
Joaquin Niemann (+1000)
The young Chilean golfer found himself in the mix last week at the RBC Heritage, thanks to an incredible weekend. Niemann went 14-under-par after rounds of 63 and 65. He found himself briefly in the lead on Championship Sunday but ultimately fell short. It was an impressive ball-striking display for the 21-year-old. He was a hot putter away from winning his second-career PGA title. He now returns to TPC River Highlands, where he placed fifth in 2019.